Chennai v Mumbai, IPL 2013, Chennai April 5, 2013

Chennai brimming with in-form players


Match facts

April 6, 2013
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)

Big Picture

Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings flagged off IPL 2012 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Two strong sides played out a tepid match, with Mumbai trouncing the hosts. Mumbai's opening game of this edition didn't quite go to plan, losing narrowly to Royal Challengers Bangalore in a game that see-sawed in the final stages. With the asking rate climbing during Mumbai's chase, Royal Challengers appeared to have the match in control, but Dinesh Karthik's three consecutive sixes eased the equation considerably. Though Karthik failed to see the side through, Mumbai would have been better served if Karthik had more support.

Not for the first time, Kieron Pollard walked in later than he should have (he got to face only two deliveries). For the past few seasons, fans have pushed for a promotion in the batting order and never understood Mumbai's conservative approach to Pollard. Perhaps there is a good reason for that strategy, but it is hard to fathom. Had he been set, the result could have been different. Despite the defeat, Mumbai needn't tinker with their line-up. Lasith Malinga missed the game due to injury, but he will be forced to sit out the second match, fit or not, since the game's in Chennai.

Super Kings haven't always been the strongest starters. Given the form of their protagonists from the Australia Tests - MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin and M Vijay - it's hard to imagine the side stuttering. The ban on Sri Lanka players affects them the least, given they have only two such players in their line-up, who aren't automatic picks. Chennai are without Faf du Plessis for at least the first month due to injury, while two other South Africans, Albie Morkel and Chris Morris join the team after the South African domestic T20 competition ends on April 7. .

Players to watch

After being smacked for three fours off his first four balls, Jasprit Bumrah's selection was starting to look farcical for Mumbai Indians. Bumrah scripted a remarkable turnaround, picking up three wickets on IPL debut. His unusual high-arm action makes him worth watching, and his performance should guarantee at least another game. He bowls from wide of the crease and generates a sharp angle into the right-handers, which fetched him two of his three wickets.

Ravindra Jadeja has in recent times been the butt of jokes on social media networks for failing to justify his two-million-dollar price tag. While Jadeja may have underachieved as a batsman for India, respect for him should have grown following the Australia Tests in which he picked up 24 wickets, second behind Ashwin (29).

2012 head-to-head

Mumbai won the opening game by eight wickets, chasing down a paltry 113. The second match, at Wankhede Stadium, was a nailbiter, with Dwayne Smith playing a blinder for Mumbai with 16 needed off the final over. Smith smashed three boundaries off the last three balls to steal a two-wicket win for Mumbai. Super Kings hit back in the Elimination final, winning by 38 runs in Bangalore.

Stats and trivia

  • Mumbai lead the head-to-head with seven wins against Super Kings, out of 13 games.
  • Suresh Raina was the leading run-scorer for Super Kings last season with 441 runs in 19 games.
  • Sachin Tendulkar is the top-scorer in matches between the two sides, with 353 runs at an average of 44.12 from 10 innings.


"The focus is on a few star players, both Indian and foreign, but there are others too who have contributed immensely. Take Badrinath for instance. He might not be a big hitter but has come up with several important performances for the team."
MS Dhoni, the Super Kings captain

"It was the first time that I played in front of such huge crowd but I wasn't paying any attention to the crowd. The more you focus on the inside, the better it is."
Jasprit Bumrah on his first taste of the IPL.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 6, 2013, 14:12 GMT

    Its very ezee for chennai to win the lots of match bcoz of talented players, i will go for chennai. for todays win.

  • Robert on April 6, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    Batting Pollard anywhere lower than second drop seems a daft waste of a resource - he can turn a game around with a handful of hits - but not if he only faces two balls, or doesn't even get off the bench. Not easy to understand Mumbai's reasoning here.

  • Dummy4 on April 6, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    Badly missing albie n faf today :'(

  • Dummy4 on April 6, 2013, 8:36 GMT

    After losing the first match, the pressure is definitely on Mumbai Indians. Bumrah didn't impress me despite taking (three?) wickets. I won't be surprised if they don't play him today. With a loud and energetic crowd in Chennai hungry for the home opener, I don't think Mumbai stands a chance. Chennai wins by 6 wickets or 25 runs.

  • grandad on April 6, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    the sucess of csk is to be attributed mainly to the form of msd,raina,ashwin and vijay last yr due to inconsistency of fab 4 of csk the team was up and down...but now adding the gr8 form of jaddu to these 4 i believe csk is the team to beat...being a neutral ipl fan i believe csk have the best(70%)chance of lifting the cup this year as it is the only team wherein players wont leave midway

  • Boromeo on April 6, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    For CSK, this is the stage where they can test up with the Indian Pace Bowlers More, Ahmed and Rajpoot. With More being regarded as pacy and Ahmed being Racy, lets see to it. Because you can have both Nannes and Hilfy for these 2 matches untill Albie and Morris joining. So even if they are smacked these two fill it in up.

    M VJ, Mr.Cricket, Stunning Raina, Ever Dependable Badri, Big Dog Bravo, Mr.Cool MSD, Rock Star, Ash, Ahmed/More/Rajpoot, Hilfy, Rapid Nannes/ Loveable Laughin

  • Nikhil on April 6, 2013, 7:01 GMT

    T20 cricket needs players who can perform in all the three departments of the game, be it with the bat, the ball or in the field. Ojha fails on both accounts i.e batting and fielding as compared to Bhajji. Also regarding the bowling in T20 cricket, Harbhajan is miles better as compared to Ojha. This is T20 cricket. Do not confuse it with Test Match Cricket. Also an inform Harbhajan is miles better than Ojha in test match cricket. He needs to be given the confidence right now and people should have faith in him instead of dropping him after giving him 1 or 2 chances and expecting him to perform brilliantly in those chances in test match cricket. If u would have seen the last match, you would have seen him with excellent figures of 4 overs 21 runs and 1 wicket and tying down Chris Gayle in no small feat considering the guy was ready to hit all the bowlers out of the stadium at that time.

  • Straight on April 6, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    Chennai has advantage in all home matches as they have banned SriLankan players from playing at their home ground. CSk will miss senanayake whereas MI will miss Malinga !!!!. Pune will miss Mathews and Mendis !!!!

  • Dummy4 on April 6, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    CSK XI vijay, huss, raina , aparajit, dhoni, bravo, jadeja, ashvin, hilf, nannes, jakati or imtiaz ahmed

  • Dummy4 on April 6, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    Like last year, this year too, CSk will be the team to beat...if you look at overall balance of the side, i dunn see any other side coming close to tht...MI on the other hand looked a tad shaky without malinga. Also rohit and pollard are batting too deep. they'll be better served if they can get ponting at no.4....get dwayne smith/maxwell to open with sachin...